Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pimps, Hookers, Man-Whores, and the Sluts Who Want ‘Em

I hit the gym today to do my usual iron-pumping workout. Today being Halloween, they had some semi-nutritious treats (shakes), a live Disc Jockey, and people in costumes.

I was thinking about this prior to going in – how do you dress up safely and workout? Halloween costumes aren’t usually fit for the bench press – they can be lose and get caught in or on the equipment.

I found out less is more at the gym.

There weren’t many people in garb, but those that were in some sort of costume weren’t wearing much of anything at all.

In fact, some were wearing so little, that I felt embarrassed for them.

There were the three receptionists – all really young kids, probably in their early twenties. One was wearing a very sexy – or slutty depending on your point of view – French maid outfit, with very short and tight skirt. Another one was wearing another short and tight outfit, she said was Goldilocks from the fable Goldilocks and the Three Bears. And the third receptionist was wearing some sort of tight white thing, I haven’t a clue what it was.

They were wandering around the gym every so often, handing out free health shakes samples. They are great eye candy, unless you drop a very heavy weight on your foot . . .

Some of the other staff were in rather slutty outfits too. One guy was dressed up like a pimp – and I thought that was fitting as there were some girls that looked like whores. I bet their moms are proud. There was another guy dress up like a Chip N Dales dancer, no shirt, but he had a tie and tight pants.

A couple of the personal trainers dressed up too – one outfit was clever – it was what a trainer would have worn in the 80’s. Made me feel old – but it was clever and not too slutty.

Another trainer was all in black – no idea what she was, but hey, to each their own.

Some guy had put a big box around him, and a sign on it that said “God’s Gift to Women.”

Now I know I go to the right gym.

All I wanted to do was workout – and I did. Though I found it hard to concentrate with all the oddballs. I’m just glad that no one went naked – that would have been awkward. But I bet the guy dressed as the pimp would have hired her on the spot.

How much for the girl?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Easy On, Easier Off

I love to cook – it is great stress relief. Having someone over to enjoy my cooking is all the better, then I even get compliments.

And NO – so far no one has ended up in the hospital with food poisoning. That I know of.

Problem with cooking though, is someone eventually will have to do some cleaning.

All the pots, pans, knives, forks, plates, spatulas and other cooking utensils eventually have to be washed.

Last weekend I made a gigantic brisket pot roast. It was really good – I roasted with it potatoes, carrots and onions to make a great side-dish, and to add flavour to the gravy.

But the roasting pot I used wasn’t big enough. It was big enough at first to hold everything, but as the gravy built-up from the meat, it overflowed out and into my oven.

The mess afterwards was horrendous. Gravy and grease from the meat was caked on the bottom and sides of my oven.

Not even a self-cleaning range can cut through this tough stuff. So I got the Easy Off oven cleaner and sprayed the entire oven – from top to bottom.

I used an entire can – you’re supposed to right?

The fumes almost made me pass out – I could taste the oven cleaner. Not a pleasant thing.

I let the oven cleaner work it’s magic. It says on the can to let it sit for eight-hours or more. I sprayed it on Monday night, and waited until this evening (Tuesday) to wipe it out and clean it up.

It certainly did the job – wiping it out was easy. All that caked on dirt and grime came off as if it were melted away. And there lied a shiny metal polished finish underneath.

Though as I was cleaning it out, I became covered in the dirt too. So I had a shower afterwards – it is funny how no matter what I do in the kitchen, I always end up wearing something or other I didn’t intend too.

Now I have a nice, clean oven.

So that I can dirty it up once again with another home-cooked meal.

Dig in.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hollow Halloween

When I was a kid, I remember my dad taking me and my brother out trick or treating on Halloween.

We’d go around the neighbourhood, door-to-door, yelling out “trick or treat” and happy smiling faces would hand us loads of candies.

We’d often run into other kids in the neighbourhood – our classmates from school – being taking around trick or treating by their parents. We’d then walk together with them, going from house to house, comparing “loot.” Our parents would walk together, talking about parent-type stuff.

It was a nice community feel, that happened once-a-year. You could feel the excitement in the air, not just from us kids collecting candy, but also by the sense of strength that comes from knowing you belong. Everyone was having fun together in the community.

These days, it isn’t safe anymore for kids to go door-to-door. Parents paranoid about what the psychos living next door might be giving out, opt for non-traditional, non-community methods of trick or treating.

Parents these days take their kids to the mall, dressed up in funky outfits. Store clerks hand out candies, coupons and other goodies. Some offices have their annual “bring your kids to work” day on or around Halloween, so that the kids can come into a safe environment and get treats.

In my building, instead of parents taking their kids door-to-door, the property management office hands out goodies to anyone that happens bye.

There is something dreadfully wrong with society, when we can’t trust our neighbours next door. If you really can’t trust those living next to your home – who can you trust?

Where community spirit once was, has now been replaced with fear, paranoia, and the sad realization that our world is no longer a happy, safe and wonderful place to be.

There could be a grow-op with drug dealers next door, a child pornographer, or worse – just some ordinary Joe Average, with an average job and a peaceful life. Nothing wrong with that Joe Average. But you’ll never know who is living next door, because of the fear and paranoia which lurks in the mainstream press.

We’re always reading about some twisted sick people somewhere doing sick twisted crap to some poor sap that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But these news reports taint our vision to the point where everyone is evil. Everyone is out to do no good.

The worst part about all of this isn’t that we can’t live in peace in our own neighbourhoods. Nope – the worst part is the lost community feel – the lost feeling of belonging to something just by being home.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

WOW! They Have Everything These Days

I went to Wal-Mart today, to do some shopping – and WOW they have everything!

Who needs to go anywhere else, when you can get it all at Wal-Mart. From pictures and posters, to bathroom and house wares, even clothes, food and stuff for your pets and kids.

A lot of people don’t like Wal-Mart. They say they depend too much on foreign labour, don’t pay a fair wage and their all corporate motto is to divide and conquer.

Hey, wait a sec – sounds just like capitalism to me. Sounds like the very same political philosophy that has made Microsoft, General Motors, MacDonald’s and just about every other large mega-corporation a large mega-corporation in the first place.

Who can knock Wal-Mart when you can get everything you ever needed all from one place?

Wal-Mart is dangerous – but only to those of us that shop there. I always come out with more things than I had originally intended to buy.

But isn’t that the whole point of having these mega-malls?

It makes life easier – just go to one of these mega-mall stores and grab whatever you need.

I think the only ones really complaining are those who happen to work for or run the smaller stores these mega-mall stores compete against.

Granted, there lies the real danger. If the mega-malls completely eliminate the competition, then there won’t be any competition for price, and the mega-malls can charge whatever they want for everything. Prices will be dictated by those greedy suits and ties that run the store, rather than by market demand.

But until the competition is gone – I’m shopping at Wal-Mart.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Canadian Cooking Tradition

The leaves are changing colors, the temperature is getting colder, and winter is almost here. But I’m still out BBQing my meals.

I love to BBQ and despite the cold weather, I still enjoy a nice BBQed steak, burger, chicken or other such entre.

Granted, you don’t have the family and friends sitting with you outside on patio chairs, enjoying the hot, lazy days of summer.

Instead, I find myself alone, huddled by the heat of the grill, flipping the burgers, while my guests enjoy the cozy warmer climate inside.

They’ll never learn the joy of BBQing sitting inside, watching TV, while I enjoy the sizzle of the meat, the sensuous smoke in my eyes, and the satisfaction of braving a Canadian climate to put good food on the table.

I guess I do prefer summer over winter – the weather is more pleasant, there is more to do outside, and the women’s skirts get shorter.

But one thing remains, regardless of whether there is snow on the ground or green fields afoot. I will continue to BBQ.

BBQing is more than just a way to cook, it is a passion. The food tastes different when made in an oven. It also is so much easier in the oven.

When I make a steak in the oven, I just leave it in their for an hour, come back, and it is done.

But a steak on the grill involves work. You have to watch it carefully so it doesn’t get over done on one side, you have to carefully season it, so that the spices don’t burn, and you have to constantly drink beer while BBQing.

Drink beer?

Hey, it is the BBQing man’s prerogative to drink beer while BBQing. Drinking beer while BBQing is as Canadian as – well – as Canadian as hockey, the beaver, and Don Cherry.

Drinking a nice, refreshing cold beer while BBQing is as Canadian as going to Tim’s and grabbing some bits.

Pass me a cold one – I’m going out to check on the meat.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Age Be Gone! Long Live the Nothing Look

I was flipping around the tube the other day and came across Joan Rivers on the Shopping Channel.

Joan Rivers was hawking her latest perfumes, but something caught my eye – her face.

Her face looked like – well that’s just it – it didn’t look like a face. It sort of reminded me of what someone might look like, if you took the eraser tool in PhotoShop and erased out all the features which make a face look like a face.

There were no wrinkles, no indentations, no nothing. Joan River’s face was completely featureless.

Now Joan Rivers will be the first to tell you that she’s had plastic surgery. She jokes about it all the time and has for a number of years.

But I guess too much of a good thing really is bad for you, because after all of these years of facelifts and whatever else Joan has had done – now she looks more alien than human.

Sound familiar?

Remember the once black now mauve Michael Jackson. He too has had things done – so much so he hardly resembles pictures taken of him in his heyday.

Michael Jackson and Joan Rivers look alien to the human race. They don’t look like us humans, but it is because of human technology they look the way they do.

Scary and sad to think how far people will go these days to improve things which you shouldn’t.

The one thing that is certain in life is the constant march of time. We all age – from the second we pop out of the womb, to the time we finish decomposing in the grave.

Having cosmetic surgery to slow the aging process doesn’t work – because you can’t stop time. You can make yourself look younger, but only to a point.

Joan Rivers and Michael Jackson – and probably others too – have long passed that point. Now, thanks to pushing the envelope of plastic surgery, they no longer look their age. But they also don’t look like human beings either.

I’d rather look like an old person, than a personless person. Because we are a society of people, and if you don’t look like a person, you just don’t fit in.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Achoo! It’s That Time of Year Again

As the cold weather rolls in, so too do the colds we catch.

Although there is no cure for the common cold, we have a strong way to curb the spread of one of the most common viruses around – the flu.

There is a shot you can get for the flu – commonly called the flu shot (real inventive with the name). The flu shot is composed of three or four strains of what the World Health Organization (WHO) has calculated to be the most likely forms of the disease.

Although you still can get the flu, even after having a flu shot, it is a good idea to get the flu shot.

By getting the flu shot, you significantly lower your chances of getting the flu. Also, if you did get a flu shot and still get the flu, chances are you won’t get as sick, as you would have if you never had the shot in the first place.

Here in Canada, many Canadian provinces provide free flu shots to all residents – all you need is to show your valid provincial health card, roll up your sleeve and don’t mind the prick.

Every year I get the flu shot, because it just makes sense. I haven’t had the flu in years – probably because I get the flu shot every year. I still occasionally catch colds – but very rarely.

As colds and flu become stronger each year, it is really important to protect yourself from the things we can, today. Super bugs are developing, due to our societies over-reliance on anti-bacterial products, antibiotics, and by consuming food products which really aren’t wise for the human population (that’s how SARS started in China).

As we continue to eliminate bacteria and viruses through the use of chemicals, these diseases continue to evolve and develop their own anti-bodies to these chemicals.

Although it is wise to use an anti-bacterial soap, that’s part of the problem. The more we use these soaps, and other anti-bacterial products, the more the current germs evolve into stronger, more resistant strains.

The same can be said for colds and flu and antibiotics. The more antibiotics we use, the more resistant these disease become.

Also, by consuming things which just don’t jive with our bodies, is another way we are slowly creating an impending doom.

SARS started because someone ate a wild cat – a cat of all things – with a virus. The virus is only generally found in cats, but it morphed upon enter the human host when consumed. This virus mutated into one of the world’s most deadly viruses for people.

Getting a flu shot won’t necessarily keep you from catching the flu – but it may keep you alive should another pandemic breakout, because some moron in some third-world country decides to eat something he shouldn’t.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sometimes Even the Loudest Clowns Are Nothing More Than Scared Sheep

Last Thursday I wrote about how they finally fired the marketing director at work. She had blown her budget two-years in a row, and continually alienated and confused those that had to work with her, at her lack of professionalism.

Today she was back in the office.

Earlier in the day, one of the people on her team had said she was just talking to someone with the same name of the former marketing director.

“It’s nice to have lunch with a former boss,” I commented to her.

She told me she hadn’t had lunch with her ex-boss, but had run into a co-worker with the same name.

Still, I was thinking the ex would make an appearance.

And I was right.

The former marketing director came into the office sharply after 5pm – which isn’t unlike her usual working hour routine (one of probably many they let her go).

I wasn’t so much surprised as shocked. She even let herself in, and took up her seat in what was her old office.

Firing at this company, I’m thinking, doesn’t mean much.

I know the marketing manager was close friends with the marketing director. They had worked together previously, and were good friends.

But there is a more sinister reason the marketing director was back in town.

My hunch is, the marketing manager knows she can’t handle the gig all by herself, seeing as she barely worked at it when she had her friend to chum around with.

So, the marketing manager probably invited the marketing director back to clean up her office – and seek advice as to how to go about doing the job she should already know how to do.

Although a clown may wear many outfits, when the clown is a scared sheep you can see right through all the face paint and red noses.

Still, inviting the former employee back is not only a further demonstration as to just how poorly the department functions, it’s a sad statement on the company’s own hiring, firing and security policies.

At most companies, once you are no longer on the payroll, they immediately take away any keys, pass cards, and other access points to the office. They change all your passwords, and someone on staff – ON STAFF – goes through your files to see what is what and ensure nothing gets lost.

Once you are no longer on the payroll, you don’t just stroll right in, sit at your old desk, and act like nothing has happened.

That’s just like walking into a stranger’s home, and re-arranging the furniture. Oh you may have lived in that home before, but it’s not yours anymore. And you can’t just go about moving someone else’s things.

The whole point of having keys to the office, pass cards, passwords and file cabinets with locks is to keep non-employees out.

Could you imagine what would happen, if a former Coke A Cola employee, now working for Pepsi, simply was allowed to walk into his former workplace and steal the secret recipe?

What if an ex-employee has a grudge against the company which let them go? Is it safe to let that person free and unrestricted access?


You’ve never heard the term “postal?”

I think tomorrow I’ll file a complaint with Human Resources about this. I don’t feel safe with ex-employees wondering in and out, just like the rest of us who are supposed to be there. I don’t think the higher-ups should either.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A New Marketing Generation

I love having digital cable – over 500 channels of nothing.

Kidding aside, I actually do enjoy the benefits of having a digital cable package. I get all the movie channels, onDemand channels which allow me to stop, start, pause and rewind movies and shows with ease, and superior picture and sound.

I get so many channels, and choices it can take a while to figure out what I want to watch.

Sometimes I just surf the channels and onDemand items to see what peaks my interest. As I was surfing through some of the onDemand stuff, I came across an interesting section – station promos.

This section had commercials promoting all the additional channels I could get – everything from DejaVU oldies, to ByteTV for men, to Discovery Civilization and Fox News.

It was interesting browsing some of these – because I do get some of these but never watch ‘em simply because I don’t know anything about them.

But there was a more business-evil reason to provide these station promos – marketing.

It used to be, the way the cable companies suckered you into paying for more channels was they’d give you a free preview of the additional channels for a limited time. The theory being, you’d get hooked on some shows on these channels, and when the free preview period ended, you’d want to continue watching the shows enough to pay for the channels.

They still dole out the free previews – right now I get Teletoon Retro on free preview. Teletoon Retro shows all the cartoons I grew up with – The Bugs Bunny and Tweetie Show, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby Doo and one of my favourites from my youth – Fat Albert. Hey hey hey!

But now, the cable companies have learned a new way to market to a new generation – an onDemand generation.

With all the onDemand channels, it is easy to just put up some commercials onDemand, and sit back and watch the money roll into the cable company’s pockets.

I was watching some of these promo channels and thought it might be nice to get these channels too. I almost picked up the phone and placed my order.

But then it occurred to me that I still get over 500 channels, and although my mother tells me I’m a bright boy, I can’t possibly watch all those channels at once.

I sometimes don’t even know what channels I do receive, simply because I get so many. I’ll click onto a channel, wondering what it is and discover for myself a new world of entertainment.

I guess that’s also why I like digital cable – sometimes the journey is just as exciting as the shows on the air.

Though one thing has been bugging me – this whole notion that the cartoons I grew up on are “retro.” You know you’re old when they call something you grew up with “retro.”

Now I feel old.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Start of Healing

I’ve complained far and wide on this blog about the inadequacies within the marketing team where I work.

The marketing director and marketing manager usually come in late, leave early, and not much gets accomplished. Things that do get done are completed by an outside agency, so it appears that those in the marketing team don’t know what they are doing.

The marketing team blew their budget by hundreds of thousands of dollars last year and this year, mainly because they need to use an outside agency to do their jobs for them.

For months, there has been talk, complaints and questions as to why those in charge haven’t taken any steps to fix a deepening hole in the company – marketing.

Today the executives listened. They fired the marketing director. It happened so fast, I was shocked and relieved all at the same time.

It is always sad when someone you know loses their job. Even if that someone lost their job for blatantly failing to do the very job they were hired to do.

However, it is a good step and a promising step for the team, department and the company.

For the team, although in shambles with more questions than answers now, once the initial shock of the firing wears off, it will be better. Now the team can re-build and re-evaluate its goals, and how it goes about achieving those goals.

The department, many of whom – myself included – outside of the marketing team had long lost faith in the marketing team, and the marketing team’s leaders. Every time it came down to working with marketing on any level, many would cringe and sigh – knowing it would entail excuse after excuse for not having anything to support the project. Scheduling meetings was next to impossible, as the marketing director and marketing manager never around. And when they were around, they would always come up with every reason in the book to not meet with you.

Hopefully, the degraded reputation of the marketing team will improve throughout the company. Many throughout all levels and departments saw the marketing team as a joke, or worse, a cancer or blemish on an otherwise fine organization to work for. Hopefully this will change.

The marketing manager is now in charge of the team, and she’s someone I still have questions about. She’s not very “corporate” in her behaviour, and she’s one of the reasons the team has suffered in the past. This firing can be a wake-up call for her to get her butt in gear and make things work – or maybe it is a set-up to see how long it takes before she completely mismanages the team, to get her out.

Either way, today’s firing was a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Workout Eye Mavens and the Search for the Screaming Thigh Sweats

I love working out – I could easily workout every day, but that’s not good for you. I love the feeling of the “burn” as my muscles work extra hard pumping iron. I enjoy counting down the minutes on an eclipse machine – feeling extra special for going the distance.

And I enjoy the scenery as it enjoys me.

Women and men sometimes dress to impress at the gym. Often you see muscle bound guys like me in tight muscle-hugging t-shirts. Women love to show it off too – often wearing tight Spandex thingies, showing off their tight little bods.

I sometimes think people go to the gym just to meet people. I see men all the time flirting with women, women teasing men with long stares, followed by bold stretches showing off their curve appeal.

I get the occasional puppy dog too – women that are so enamoured with you, they will follow you around the gym like a little lost dog.

These horny members of the other sex, typically will try to workout either right next to me, or as close to me as possible, often mirroring whatever it is I am doing.

Today, I was lucky to have a puppy dog follow me around. I felt like a celebrity with my own Paparazzi. Imagine, an attractive woman tailing me – me – yeah ME !!!


The puppy dog came around after my warm-up. I had began my abdominal routine – today I did some leg raises, then I did some work with the medicine ball.

The puppy dog placed her mat on the floor right next to mine. And she began doing some stretches. She did what a lot of women seem to do – she started staring at me, only to look away the second I happened to look her way (but not before letting me see her checking me out).

Why do women do this?

I know women are just trying to get the man to make the first move. But I like the way us guys work a room – we just go up and start talking to someone we like. If the conversation has good vibes, great – if not, hey move on.

Women on the other hand can play this look and run game all day long – it drives me nuts. I like women that are direct and actually willing to talk to a guy, rather than stare, turn and run.

I was focusing on my workout, so I paid little attention to this puppy dog. So, she began to do the same exercises as me.

I’ve seen this a zillion times – do as the one you want does and he’ll be attracted to you like a bug to a light.

Although imitation is a great form of flattery, and I’m always amazed when women start playing their puppy dog love games of intent with me – again I wish women would just say something.

This puppy dog was trying to keep up with me and my never-ending leg raises, while she probably would have been in less pain and agony had she just opened up her mouth and said something.

“Do those leg raises work?” would be a great conversation starter.

Or even better: “Can you show me how to do those?” as this gets me involved not just in the conversation, but in her.

But instead, this puppy dog just huffed and puffed her way through leg raises. And it’s pretty hard to get to know someone when you’re so out of breath, you can’t talk.

I finished my abdominal routine and left the room – heading where I always go next – the weight room.

Maybe this puppy dog lost interest, or simply couldn’t move, because I didn’t see her for quite a while. Then she suddenly re-appeared while I was in the middle of a cardio routine on a treadmill.

I was doing a hill routine on the treadmill, and all of a sudden there she was on the treadmill next to me.

Well, maybe this time – I thought – she’d open her pie hole long enough to say something.

She smiled at me, I smiled back – and went back to working out.

Sometimes, people do the strangest things to get your attention. This puppy dog did almost everything imaginable – and some things I’d never imagine – to get my attention.

She started coughing a few times. Dropped her towel and it went flying off the back of the treadmill – she had to go get it. She spilled her water, then she dropped it and it and the water bottle went everywhere. She’d stop her treadmill and then start it up again.

“Excuse me?” a voice said.

I turned, hey – she was talking to me!

Imagine that – she actually took the initiative to start a conversation.

“Do you no how late the gym is open?” she asked, blushing all the while.

This is why she’s probably single. If you’re going to ask someone a question – someone you’re interested in – then it should be a question which can involve a lot of dialogue. Ask me about me, what I like to do, how often I workout, who I think makes the best burgers – anything but a simple, straight quick to answer-type question.

“I think the gym is open until midnight,” I responded. What else could I say? That’s all she asked. Though I seriously doubt she’d be working out until midnight – she was having trouble keeping up with me as it was, and I certainly wasn’t staying past the witching hour.

“Thanks,” she mumbled.

There was a long awkward silence, for quite a while.

Then I heard: “I see you here all the time, you come here often, don’t you?”

The puppy dog had finally started to talk to me!

I was amazed – usually these women do everything to get my attention, but actual conversation – wow. I was impressed.

We talked for a bit, but this woman left it too late too long – my treadmill beeped workout complete and I was done. We talked for a bit as I towelled down, then I left.

All in all – this woman probably spent the better half of two-hours tailing me, trying to get my attention, but only actually spoke with me for less than five-minutes (she started to really talk to me once my cool down had begun.)

I don’t understand women. But hey, maybe this puppy dog will have better luck approaching her next victim. . .

Monday, October 08, 2007

Hands Off My Undies

I was doing my laundry this past weekend – not an uncommon thing. When I went down to the laundry room to switch over my washed clothes from the washer to the dryer, I had found some trailer park trash person had moved my whites for me.

I had three loads of laundry this weekend – two color loads and one whites. There was a kid sitting atop the machine with my whites in it. I told him I needed to get in there to move my clothes out.

He pointed to a dryer and said they were in there. I told him they were not – they were in the machine he was sitting on. I couldn’t believe anyone would touch someone else’s personal stuff, without their permission – especially their underwear and other unmentionables.

The kid – about 10 – tells me his mom moved it over. The dryer wasn’t on. The good lady – we’ll just call her trailer park mom for short – had taken the liberty of moving my unmentionables to a dryer, without turning it on.

Had the kid not been there, I wouldn’t know where my clothes had gone. As clothes do not routinely walk by themselves.

I told the kid as I went to move my clothes to the dryer which I had already put a load into, good thing his mom wasn’t there, or I’d kill her.

I probably would too. I’d easily kill some complete stranger for touching my personal stuff – they deserve death – or worse – if there is anything worse than death.

Had trailer park mom not been able to find a parking spot, would it be alright for her to break into someone’s car to push it out of the way?

Worse off than what trailer park mom did, was the lesson she was teaching her impressionable young kid – who she conscripted into taking the blame by waiting in the laundry room. Though I bet if I had taken much longer, the kid would be gone, and I’d be left wondering where my undies went.

There seem to be a more bad parents these days than good ones. Good parents teach their kids right from wrong – not how to wrong someone.

Trailer park mom wronged me, by moving my things without even asking me. She probably does this on a routine basis, and the poor kid ends up taking the brunt of everyone his mom wrong’s anger.

If I ever find out who that kids mom is, I think – no I KNOW – I’ll just have to fix her wagon. Trailer park or not – this ain’t Jerry Springer.

If I catch her moving someone’s clothes – I’ll give her more than a lesson in life. I’ll destroy all her clothes. Maybe take them out and toss them in the garbage. That would be a suitable solution.

She’d panic, looking for her clothes in all the machines – only they aren’t there. They are gone! Go out and buy some new clothes trailer park mom – Jerry’s calling.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

No One At Work? Must Be A Long Weekend

I work at one of the oddest places I’ve ever worked at. The people are very friendly – everyone is super nice. But for a company that’s been around since the 1960s, it certainly has a lot of issues. Issues which make me wonder how it has survived so long.

Most of the people have been around forever. The average person has been at the company for over 10-years – some have been around for over 20-years.

Not bad – in a day when job security is non-existent, it is good to know once you get a job here you’ll never have to find another one.

Though those who have been here the longest also demonstrate another oddity. Laziness.

Last Friday, we had a turkey lunch to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was the Friday before the long-weekend, where we eat turkeys, get stuffed with stuffing and watch really cheezie movies on the tube.

During this Thanksgiving lunch, management gave out long-time service awards for those with the company for many, many years.

They gave out gifts to those who had been with the company for five, ten, fifteen and twenty or more years.

Those with five and ten-year awards came up and accepted their gifts. Those that were at the company for 15 or more years, were named, but not to be found. All of ‘em had either called in sick, taken a personal day, or were on holidays!

All things – good and bad – stem from the top down. When a company’s leaders demonstrate good traits, those traits are often picked up on by the rest of the company’s employees. So too, are the bad traits – like apathy, laziness, and a general desire to appear busy and hard at work, but just appearing so – without doing any real work.

My office is where a lot of managers offices are – I’m in an elite group – lucky me.

This Friday, as with most Fridays – especially those before a long weekend – none of the managers were around. One of these managers was actually a vice-president – and surprisingly, he too wasn’t around.

Well, not surprisingly – all things stem from the top down. If the boss doesn’t have to come in on Friday – why should I?

The interesting thing about all of this, is a good number of the executives and managers in other departments did attend the turkey lunch. The company president was there too – he accepted an award himself, for being with the company for five years.

But then, just as the lunch was over, the president grabbed his stuff, and hit the road. Some of the other executives followed suite – if he doesn’t have to be here, why should I?

Then, some of the employees filed out too – if my boss isn’t here – why am I?

It makes it hard for those of us that have work to do – which should be everyone at work because that’s what work is – to do the work.

When no one is around, or people get up and leave early, and you realize you’re one of just a handful of people in the office, you wonder if you’re being taken advantage of. You feel that you’re being given everyone’s workload, so that they can goof off and enjoy life, while you work your ass off.

I left just after five o’clock that Friday – as I leave every working day. But I’m struggling with whether or not I should do the right thing and do my work next long weekend – or take the day off?

On the one hand, it is wrong to just be lazy and give out some dopy excuse to get out of work. On the other hand, if management can do it – why can’t I?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Watchin The Sparks Fly

I love high-rise living. Aside from having the best view in the city, and never having to worry about someone scaling the wall and breaking and entering, I see Mother Nature live.

I can see the storms as they sweep across the city, or even better – I enjoy watching the lightening as it crashes through the universe.

Today I got to see a neat light show. A lightening storm was whipping across the city and I had front row seats. It is pretty cool to watch enough electricity to power a good chunk of the city streak across the sky.

The shear fear factor is pretty cool too – sometimes it catches you off guard and you jump as the lightening bolt whizzes past.

Lightening is caused by the collision of high pressure and low pressure systems in our atmosphere. The lightening is Mother Nature’s way of releasing the high pressure and raising the low pressure, until both pressure systems are balanced. The lightening itself is actually a by-product of this equalization of pressures.

As the two pressure systems (fronts) are mixing and balancing, static energy is given off. This static energy builds up inside those funky vapor bodies known as clouds. When there is too much static energy, eventually it spurts out in the form of a lightening bolt.

This pressure change can cause more than sparks to fly – people react too. As the pressure systems collide, people that suffer migraines and other serious headaches often feel a headache coming on. Pressure changes in the atmosphere can cause people sensitive to pressure to get a headache.

As the pressure is released through the ensuing lightening storm, those affected by pressure changes will feel better too – as their headache weakens and goes away.

I’m lucky, I don’t suffer headaches due to pressure changes. This way, I can do the nutty things that I do during an electrical storm – like going out on my high-rise balcony and watching the lightening strike.

I know it is relatively safe, as there are lightening rods on the roof of my building. There is the slight chance that I’d get fried by a bolt of lightening, if for some reason the lightening was attracted more to me than the lightening rods on the roof.

But seeing as I don’t have much metal on or in me, that is a very slim chance.

And nothing beats the thrill of a good lightening storm.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Breaking New Ground with a Twig

About a week ago at work, they upgraded the phone system. They expanded the call center by increasing the number of lines going into the call center – and everywhere else in the company.

Yesterday, our telephones were dead. We could make internal calls, but no one could call in and we couldn’t call out to the world.

Our operations department informed us that they knew about the problem and were working on it with the telephone companies involved.

This was annoying at first, but then became a real problem whenever I tried to do any of the simple things I typically do in a day.

I had to use my personal cell phone for most of the day – though I’m sure the company will compensate me for my cost.

The real problem occurred around 3:00pm – we had a very important conference call and WebEx with managers of all the branches from across Canada. This conference call could not be re-scheduled, as it was announcing some important changes to the way we do business.

And – go figure – it is hard to have a conference call when you don’t have a phone line to do it on.

The phones went dead around 10:30 or 11:00am, and actually remained down until after 5:00pm – we went a whole business day without the basic necessity of being able to reach out and touch someone.

Might as well have had a twig to write notes in the sand. Or maybe we should have got some Styrofoam cups and string, and created our own working version of a telephone network.

I could see it now – papers everywhere as people trip over twine weaving and winding throughout the office. Others giggling as they listen in on personal calls. Spilled coffee everywhere, as people forget what the Styrofoam cups are for and they attempt to use them to actually drink from. . .

We did have our conference call and WebEx – though the solution wasn’t the best. Our IT guys are miracle workers, and they managed to find us an old analogue, cordless phone from which we took turns passing around, to participate in the conference call.

The phone – probably a good ten-years-old – had a fairly decent speaker, so we could hear everyone else on the call. Though when talking on it, you had to hold it several inches away from your face, so that you didn’t get blasted by the speaker.

Our Internet was not fully functional either – and so we had to make do with whatever jury-rigged solution IT gave us.

Whatever they did, it worked, but it was still embarrassing and awkward working for a company that couldn’t make a simple phone call.

Technology fails, that’s just a part of life. But to be without the most basic of technologies for an entire business day is mind-numbing. And a telephone is pretty basic – almost everyone has a phone, some have three or more of them.

Maybe next time technology fails, I’ll go for a nice long walk. So far, the sky has never fallen. Yet.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Parental Control -- Or Lack of It

On Myspace and Facebook, I see a lot of people post cute pictures of their kids. They have their whole family albums up online – for cousins, aunts, uncles – even grandma to see.

Problem is, everyone else online – which is over two-thirds of the global population – can see these pictures too.

What’s wrong with that?

Well, not too much – in an ideal world. Fact is, we live in a world where everyone has to watch their backs.

Online predators, stalkers, and child molesters just so happen to be able to access the Internet, just as you and me.

So, although it might seem like a relatively safe and harmless thing to post pictures of your kids online – it’s actually one of the dumbest, hair-brained ideas any parent can have.

You might as well hang a placard around your kid’s neck saying “take me – I’m yours.”

I don’t date single moms – no offence to those readin’ this blog – I just don’t want kids in my life at this point and time. But I did go out on a handful of dates with single moms eons ago, before I realized becoming an “instant daddy” wasn’t for me.

Back then, the smart single moms never mentioned anything about their dates to their kids. They never brought out pictures of their kids on the first couple of dates – they drew a strict line in the sand between their dating life and their family life.

At first, I thought it was odd that these parents wouldn’t talk about their kids. All parents our proud of their kids, and will talk non-stop about their little one’s accomplishments.

But after reading about all the abductions, the luring and then seeing pictures of whole families on the very public Internet – I finally understand why these single moms wouldn’t talk about their kids.

Unless you become serious with someone – really serious and see that person over a course of several months often – or more – than it makes no sense to complicate a kid’s life by introducing a complete stranger into it.

It is also safer – although that hot babe seemed pretty sharp at the gym, once you get to know her on a date, you may realize she’s thick as a two-by-four and just as dull. Going out with someone for the first little while doesn’t really get you inside a person’s mind-space.

Until you have been able to really dig deep into another person’s mind-space, you shouldn’t be posting your kids pictures on Myspace, Facebook, or any of the other online social networking sites.

Actually, you probably should never post pictures of your kids online – if you really want to share with someone, just show them the pictures in your wallet. Or send emails with the pictures to those who you know very well.

If Grandma can figure out Facebook, she’ll probably be able to see your kids smiling faces in an email message directed specifically to her.

Parents that blindly place their kids photos online, aren’t very good parents, because they are violating the one thing that all good parents do – protecting their kids from the evils of the world.

Don’t be a bad parent – keep your kids pictures offline.